SEA98LA111
SEA98LA111

On June 27, 1998, approximately 1300 Pacific daylight time, an experimental Koster Murphy Rebel, N265KK, impacted the terrain during the initial climb after takeoff from Arlington Municipal Airport, Arlington, Washington. The airline transport pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured, but the aircraft, which had been built and was owned by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 local pleasure flight was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed, and the ELT, which was activated by the impact, was turned off at the scene.

According to the pilot, this was the first flight of the aircraft after completion of its construction. He said that just after liftoff, the aircraft started to roll to the right, so he applied slight left aileron as a correction. Instead of the aircraft rolling back toward the left, as the pilot expected, it rolled even further to the right. The pilot then cut the power and attempted to land while holding a significant amount of left aileron and full left rudder. As the aircraft slowed, it rolled left, the nose dropped, and soon thereafter, the aircraft impacted the runway surface.

A post-accident inspection of the aircraft revealed that the builder/pilot had rigged the ailerons backwards during construction (attached pushrods to the wrong control stick assembly holes), so that moving the stick to the left would cause the aircraft to roll to the right. Also, during a post-accident interview, the pilot stated that he had done a hurried pre-flight that day because someone had changed the lock on the hanger where his aircraft was housed, and that had put him a couple of hours behind schedule.

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